A Havana Silk Dog is a type of dog from Cuba. The modern Havana Silk Dog is derived solely from recent Havanese dogs. Breeders have sought to re-create older depictions of the breed based on paintings, sculptures, and written descriptions. Compared to some Havanese, breeders seek to give the Havana Silk Dog longer, straighter forelegs, a flatter, silkier coat, a longer muzzle, and smaller ears.
After 10 years of attempting to convince Havanese breeders to breed away from osteochondrodysplasia, many of the original leadership of the Havanese Club of America decided to leave the organization in order to create a breed that they feel more accurately represents the original dogs from Cuba. They began referring to their dogs as "Havana Silk Dogs," claiming them to be a different breed from the Havanese. However, the Havana Silk Dog is not recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) as separate from the Havanese, and many Havana Silk Dogs are also registered under the name "Havanese" with the AKC. The Havana Silk Dog Association of America is not currently seeking to register their breed with the AKC.
In an effort to preserve type and sound health, Havana Silk Dog breeders do not "cross-breed" their dogs with a Havanese who is not registered as a Havana Silk Dog.